Berry Brioche

A fluffy brioche pillow, studded with sparkling berry gems and drizzled with a sweet ricotta glaze. I’m feeling a little fancy today, can’t you tell? # 183: Berry Brioche

I don’t know about you, but the fact that we really have no end date or quick answer for this pandemic is hitting harder this week. To make it seem better, I organized my masks by color and made an over-the-top bake. Definitely didn’t fix anything, but at least it distracted me for a while, and now there’s brioche in my life!

Berries are nature’s jewels, and usually coating them in sugar feels silly and unnecessary. Not this week! Dare to be extra – douse them in sugar, my friends.

The recipe called for only raspberries, but I’m having a little love affair with in-season blackberries. They’re so juicy and sweet! I’d say branch out and use whatever berries look the yummiest in the produce section. The raspberries in the dough melt into a jam consistency, and it’s as fabulous as you think.

Brioche is the closest you’ll get to cake in the bread world. It’s enriched with eggs, milk, love and so much butter. I briefly discuss the pastry-like bread’s origins in my Brie & Rosemary Brioche post, but there are conflicting histories out there. With such a delicious result, it’s no wonder multiple regions want to claim this recipe as their own!

The line-up.

One thing having this blog has taught me over the years, is to always keep some whole fruit for the garnish post-bake. Your presentation game shoots through the roof with a pile of gorgeous berries on top or on the side of a pastry! Plus, you’ll probably set aside too many and then have to eat them while doing the dishes. BUMMER.

You’ll have to bear with me – all the photos of the mixer stages of the bake came out dark and blurry. I’m a fool and didn’t double check before moving on! Here’s the only salvageable shot from the bunch. I’ll do better next time, scouts honor.

Proofed, preened and ready for filling. I softened the butter to the brink of melting and got my offset spatula ready. Side note: the offset spatula is one of my favorite kitchen tools and is the only one that my sometimes-baking-assistant Nate can’t identify. It’s like when you’re working on a car, ask for a wrench and get handed a hammer. Except with offsets and butter knives. C’est la vie.

And while I was pondering offsets, I forgot to spread the butter on and sprinkled the lemon zest sugar on the dough directly. Quarantine brain.

Fixed it! Sort of. I placed little dollops of softened butter evenly across the filling and crossed my fingers.

Rolling was a very messy process. The liquid from the berries made the soft dough even more unwieldy, but it eventually came together into a roll! Sliced it up into six rolls and tried to use the force to float them into my pan. When that proved unsuccessful, I put the bench scraper to work.

Not the neatest “rolls” you’ve ever seen, but flavor is what we’re going for, folks.


My new favorite trick for making sure breads are fully cooked all the way through is temperature testing them with a thermometer. They should be at least 190F in the center before you pull them out!

The glaze is a mix of ricotta cheese, vanilla and powdered sugar. It’s less sweet so you can slather it on with abandon. Heavenly.

Don’t forget those extra berries! I plopped them in the extra lemon zest and sugar and they transformed into sparkling jewels.

Cake? Bread? A giant doughnut?? The best part is that it’s basically all three.

Happy munching!

Recipe mostly from:

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